Let's Talk with Maggie Toussaint

Sand, Flower Petals, and Chalked Sidewalks

August 18, 2022

I’ve always loved touching things with my fingers. There’s an interesting grainy feel to sand, a wispy velvety texture to flower petals, an innocent silkiness to kitten fur. As a child I was drawn to an artesian well at our “Riverbank” swimming hole. A muddy clay rimmed the area where the fresh water flowed out of the creekbank. I loved to sink my fingers into that cold clay, to warm it with my hands, and shape it into something.

Silly Putty and Play-Doh held similar appeal (both of which are still on the market). There’s something so satisfying about shaping and rolling those squishy items into treasures. For Silly Putty, I loved pressing it onto the Sunday newspaper funnies. A reverse image in color of the comic would appear on the putty. It seemed magical.

I felt the same way about drawing as a kid. I loved using crayons, colored pencils, and pastels. I had a secret wish to draw something on the sidewalk like in the movie “Mary Poppins” and then jump into a fanciful world of dancing penguins and endless ice cream… Is it any wonder I took up glittery gel pens to do adult coloring when the craze hit a few years ago? There’s something about color that stimulates creativity and feeds my soul.

Words have the same immersive, restorative effect on me. Whether writing or reading, I dwell in the story world. A good storyteller makes a book impossible for me to put down. I have to know what comes next. Only fire or an emergency can pry me away, and I will likely be running to safety with the book, Kindle, and computer in my hands.

To foster creativity in my office, I surround myself with art and books. There are wooden birds, painted dragons, framed embroidery, and a hanging mini-quilt. I have oil paintings and watercolors, and over by window, acrylic paintings of bright yellow flowers I inherited from my sister. The walls themselves are a milky turquoise, a soft and yet smiley color for me. Part of my angel collection is in here, along with family pictures. It’s my happy place, the adult hideout where creativity reigns.

Do you have creative leanings? If so, what happens when you make something? Comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Dreamed It in print (US only) or digital format. The winner will be drawn on August 24.

While you’re here, click over to our Book Giveaway, which runs from August 1-18. ENTER HERE.

To learn more about author Maggie Toussaint, who also writes as Valona Jones, visit her WEBSITE.

Posted in Let's Talk, with Maggie Toussaint • Tags: , , , , , |  19 Comments


19 thoughts on “Sand, Flower Petals, and Chalked Sidewalks

  1. I loved reading about your tactile experiences. I confess that I am a serial amateur artist. I bounce from drawing to painting to glass making to knitting, or whatever catches my restless spirit. Art calms my mind — I don’t think I could function without a creative outlet.

  2. Right now, as a new school year begins, that love of pencils, crayons, the smell of paper and books that make you think of the softness of sweaters, the crackle of leaves underfoot, the best of the year ahead. Ahhh…fall. Love this piece, Maggie

  3. I love crafting words into stories. That’s the extent of my creativity. No artistic or musical bone in my body. If anything, I like to include food in my tales. I suppose you could say making up recipes is my other creative art. As for my home office, I have a collection of glass paperweights plus mementoes that relate to my books, such as trolls and frog people and Russian nesting dolls.

    1. I definitely think of food preparation as an art. When I exactly follow a recipe, I never have the same result as my sister or childhood best friend. They intuitively know what proportions of things work best together and they make minor adjustments. I love your collections!

  4. I like the idea of being artsy but in practice I’m really not. Although I went thru a period of making fascinators and I think they did turn out rather well. I’d love to get one of those portable artist easels and some watercolors and paint landscapes, but I suspect the results would not be pretty. 🙂

    1. I think it’s cool that you made fascinators, and I’m even more surprised that I knew what that was! One of my husband’s cousins likes to make fascinators. Maybe you would start out with a sketch before you invest in those supplies… Or, what the hey–just go for it!

  5. I think creativity feeds creativity. Besides writing mysteries, creative nonfiction, and occasional poetry, I garden (designing beds, editing year by year…), paint in watercolor and oil, knit (design many of my own patterns), and train dogs for multiple competitive venues—trust me, that’s a creative pursuit! I find that if I’m stuck in one medium, playing in another for a while usually gets me unstuck. Lovely post, Maggie.

  6. Maggie, my entire life has been ruled by creativity. Sometimes I wish I were a bit more left-brained. Maybe then I’d be able to balance my checkbook!

    1. It must be nice to fit mostly in one side of the brain or the other. I feel like I’m a fairly equal split, which can sometimes be seen as a bounty and at others as half of nothing…

  7. I am not crafty but I do have a desire to create. My creativity comes out in my baking. Baking for me is therapeutic. It is exciting to be able to enjoy the finished product with family and/or friends. They enjoy it as well.

    1. Hi Cherie,

      Creativity takes many forms! It is very appropriate to consider baking a creative exercise. I am glad it brings you pleasure as well as your family and friends.


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